Q&A: The Sherlocks' Kiaran Crook on touring, Tramlines, new music and "friendly" mosh pits

Q&A: The Sherlocks' Kiaran Crook on touring, Tramlines, new music and "friendly" mosh pits

By Michael Upton | 21/02/2020

Q&A: The Sherlocks' Kiaran Crook on touring, Tramlines, new music and 'friendly' mosh pits

KEEPING it simple and not looking too far ahead seems to be the mantra for Kiaran Crook, lead singer and songwriter for The Sherlocks.

The band’s members were aged just 15 to 18 when they first appeared on our pages to advertise a charity gig for Weston Park Cancer Charity at the Angel pub in Bolton on Dearne in February 2011.

Singer Kiaran and his brother Brandon, the band’s drummer, were both at Wath Comprehensive, while bass player Andy Davidson was at nearby St Pius School and his brother, guitarist Josh Davidson, was training to be an engineer.

The Sherlocks have since released two Top 20 albums, toured Europe, America, Japan and South Korea and debut single Live for the Moment has been streamed 2.5 million times

Tonight, they kick off a UK tour with a soldout homecoming gig at Sheffield’s O2 Academy.

But all four members are still living at home in Bolton and keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

We caught up with Kiaran to talk about new music, touring, playing Tramlines and why he spends his days at the local working men’s club.

Where are you right now?
Just in the concert room at the local club, which we use as our practice room. We’ve never actually played a gig here but we have an arrangement with the club that we can use it except when they need it.

When we have a new song, we try it out here because if we can get it right here than it will sound good on tour.

It’s mostly the older people from the village that come in. It’s a bit like Phoenix Nights.

I turn up at about 10.45am most days and the cleaners let me in. I have a bit of a chat with them and then I’m here until 4.30pm most days so I’ve got some solid hours just for song-writing.

Are the regulars at all starry-eyed by your success or do they still treat you the same?
People are used to us coming in so it’s not really a big deal. I don’t really understand why people get excited about that sort of thing anyway. We’re just normal lads.

How does it feel to be writing and performing your songs for a living?
I am grateful to have this as a job.It’s great to go travelling and everything and I don’t take it for granted but I don’t really think about it too much. I don’t like to overthink things.

What’s the best part about touring?
I love travelling. We’ve been to South Korea and Japan, as well as all over the UK and Europe. It really opens your eyes and you get to see different places, meet different people and learn about the culture.

Is it fair to say your second album Under Your Sky is more worldly and mature than the first (Live for the Moment)?
When I started writing songs, I wasn’t thinking about doing an album at all. It was just fuel for our gigs. I just wanted to write another banger to put into the set so people would dance and bounce.

When it came to the second album, there were a few tracks from before the first album.

The other songs were all new and they were shaped by travelling.

Do you ever have moments where you stop and think about how far you’ve come?
It’s like an ongoing thing so we don’t really think about it too much but when you’re in the USA or South Korea there are moments when you remember the reason you’re there and that’s pretty mad.

It’s mad to think that it all came from the other two lads moving into the same village as me and Bran.

When we first picked up our instruments at our house, we’d never have imagined we’d be in South Korea because of it.

You’ve built up a reputation for being great live. What’s the atmosphere like at your gigs?
Sometimes there’s a bit of a mosh pit but it’s a friendly mosh pit. The fans like to make a circle and run into it, just having a laugh.

It’s like a community or a big family. We don’t just have young fans but also people in their 40s and 50s.

When we’ve played in Japan you can tell the fans are still as into the music, and they make a lot of noise between songs, but they seem to be listening more intently rather than singing along.

You’re now working on the third album. How’s that going and what will it sound like?
It’s more or less done but we just want to make sure we’re happy with every song on it. We recorded it in Rockfield Studios, where we did the last album, but we were in the other studio this time, which is where Oasis and Stone Roses recorded.

It will definitely be out before the festivals this summer.

It’s very reminiscent of the first album, just a lot simpler.

On the second album we took everything up a bit but on NYC (the lead single from Under Your Sky) there’s a lot more space. It’s exactly like that with this record.

What’s your songwriting process and how much do the other lads chip in?
They just let me crack on with it. All the parts come to me at the same time — I’ll show them the parts I’ve written and we talk about it.
If they have any better ideas we can include them.

I saw a clip recently of Josh playing the guitar riff to the Stone Roses’ Love Spreads. How do you feel about playing covers?
We started out as a covers band when we used to play gigs at working men’s clubs, playing Beatles, Killers and Arctic Monkeys tunes, and then started learning older songs for the older crowd.

We started writing our own songs and when we first played the second room at the O2 in Sheffield that was the first time we’d just done our own stuff.

We still do some covers — a while back we played a Kasabian song and last year we played Sit Down by James. 

The Sherlocks back in 2011

What’s the best part of being in The Sherlocks?
Playing gigs. It’s an opportunity to see the people that support us. We just want to try on put the best show, as always, and make some memories so people come back to see us again.

How excited are you about playing Tramlines this summer?
It is exciting, but I’ve not really thought about it that much. I’m looking forward to it but I don’t really over-think these things. I think about the next thing that’s coming up.

You say you spend a lot of time over your songwriting. Do you treat it like a job?
Yeah, when we’re not gigging, it’s time to write songs.

There was a point where we decided to drop everything else — I dropped out of uni — and we had to take it seriously. I’m not as strict as doing nine to five, though. 
I came down here  (to the club) at first because I just wanted some space.

All the others will be doing their own things — who knows what they get up to? I know Brandon sorts out all the social media.

Our living room is like the Sherlocks HQ. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
Getting new music out there. I want to write more songs, particularly songs that people like and not getting lost and writing crap!

Working towards the next record, because the songs are the fuel for everything else.

Visit thesherlocksmusic.co.uk for more information and ticket details.